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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 1999 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Merlot

The nose has rich dark fruits and with a light floral background of violet. The palate has dark plums, elderberry, pencil lead, and violets. Tobacco leaf shows up on the mid-palate. Tannins are very fine. The overall impression is of smooth layers of dark depth. The finish is sweet and lingering, everything is in excellent balance. Drink with bacon-wrapped filet. Highly recommended. DH
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 1999 Pommery Grand Cru Brut Millesime

In the glass, there’s a profusion of very small bubbles. Aroma opens with light notes of yeast and agar, a hint of toast, later becoming toastier, almost caramelized. The first sip is raspberry and lemon. A creamy mouthfeel gives way to a combination of fruit and tartness on the palate it takes to the finish line—a long finish that in the end becomes citric, bone dry. Highly recommended. BSE
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1999 Pommery Grand Cru Brut Millesime

In the glass, there’s a profusion of very small bubbles. Aroma opens with light notes of yeast and agar, a hint of toast, later becoming toastier, almost caramelized. The first sip is raspberry and lemon. A creamy mouthfeel gives way to a combination of fruit and tartness on the palate it takes to the finish line—a long finish that in the end becomes citric, bone dry. Highly recommended. BSE
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1999 Valley of the Moon Cuvée de la Luna

The cork was a little soft and I lost a couple centimeters of it to the bottle. This wine is definitely showing some age. Garnet in color with a brick rim. On the nose it has definite aromas of dried fruit—cherry, plum, raisins—lots of spice, some vanilla, dried flowers, earth, the slightest hint of bell pepper, and what I think is a little Brett. It’s dry and rich on the palate, medium intensity, medium-light acidity, super soft tannins. Lots of dried fruit and floral flavors come through on the palate as well. Black fruit: plums especially. And a little cola. Definitely some brighter cherry on the finish.
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1999 Heitz Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Jeff Lefevere, of Good Grape, shared this with me on Open That Bottle Night, and it was wonderful, and still very young. The nose shows mocha, a touch of menthol and creamy nougat. Blackcurrant, unsweetened chocolate, fig, and eucalyptus all show, but flavors come in layers. It is still drinking young, terrifically balanced in an old-school way, with acids bright and lively. Hold another decade or more with confidence. Drink with a good friend and chops from local lamb. Very highly recommended.